Chapter

Enlisting Smelser’s Theory of Ambivalence to Maintain Progress in Sociology of Religion’s New Paradigm

R. Stephen Warner

in Self, Social Structure, and Beliefs

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780520241367
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937857 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520241367.003.0008
Enlisting Smelser’s Theory of Ambivalence to Maintain Progress in Sociology of Religion’s New Paradigm

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter draws on the theoretical power of ambivalence in accounting for aspects of religious attitudes and behavior. Contrary to the claims of theorists looking at Europe, this chapter contends that religion, particularly in the United States, has not withered away in the face of cultural pluralism and scientific rationality that were supposed to threaten its viability. This chapter has four parts. First, the chapter traces the developments of the new paradigm in the sociology of religion. Second, the chapter discusses the anomalies in the new paradigm if its foundation were to be taken as a rational choice theory. Third, the chapter draws on Smelser's work on ambivalence which aids in elucidating those anomalies without abandoning the fundamental insight of the new paradigm. The chapter concludes by outlining some theoretical implications of the new paradigm.

Keywords: ambivalence; religious attitudes; religious behavior; religion; new paradigm; sociology of religion; rational choice

Chapter.  8799 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.